This paper describes work in progress aimed at developing an intelligent modelling assistant for the mathematical modelling task associated with engineering analysis. Mathematical modelling precedes detailed numerical analysis and involves formulating and evaluating engineering problems with the objective of proposing a candidate mathematical model that meets desired modelling requirements. The approach taken in this work is based on Chandrasekaran’s proposecritique-modify method which is adapted for modelling. The use of this paradigm is justified by viewing the mathematical modelling process as an activity of successive investigation and refinement of candidate mathematical models. The system architecture is based on exploiting a number of artificial intelligence techniques including model based reasoning, case based reasoning and rule based reasoning. A modelling options case base assists engineers in proposing candidate mathematical models. Engineering 1st principles and formulae are utilised within an artificial intelligence framework to provide a means of evaluating and critiquing the candidate mathematical models. The system is integrated with an existing interactive CAD system. The problem domain covered is application independent but will initially focus on the modelling and analysis of heat transfer problems.

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